ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Richard Barnfield

(1574-1627)


The son of a Shropshire gentleman, Richard Barnfield attended Brasenose College Oxford in 1589 (B.A. 1592). The first poet to imitate the Spenserian stanza, he was a friend or acquaintance of Thomas Watson, Francis Meres, Michael Drayton, and possibly Shakespeare. Barnfield's homoerotic poetry has attracted comment since at least the time of Thomas Warton. After publishing three volumes of verse as a young man, he lived most of his life as a country gentleman in Staffordshire.


TEXT RECORDS:

1594Sonnet I. ["Why should my Pen presume to write his praise."]
1594Sonnet IIII. ["Come from the Muses well Minerva."]
1594The Shepherds Content.
1594The Teares of an Affectionate Shepheard.
1595An Ode.
1595Cynthia.
1595Cynthia: To the curteous Gentlemen Readers.
1595Sonnet XX. ["But now my Muse toyld with continuall care."]
1598A Remembrance of some English Poets.
1598An Ode.
1598Sonnet I. To his Friend Maister R. L. in Praise of Musique and Poetrie.
1598The Complaint of Poetrie, for the Death of Liberalitie.
1598The Prayse of Lady Pecunia.

PUBLICATIONS:

Greenes Funeralls [by Barnfield?]. 1594.
The affectionate shepherd. 1594.
Cynthia; certaine sonnets; the legend of Cassandra. 1595.
The encomion of Lady Pecunia. 1598.
A lovers newest curranto. ca. 1620.
Poems, ed. Edmond Malone. 1816.
Poems 1594-1598, ed. Edward Arber. 1882.
Poems, ed. Montague Summers. 1936.
Complete Poems, ed. by George Klawitter. 1990.